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It wasn’t that long ago that technological innovation was mostly associated with the computer industry. A steady stream of electronic devices and digital services—that improve so quickly, they become obsolete in a few years—continue to impact our lives in ways we never imagined a few decades ago.

Today, with climate change ever-present, the need for fundamental new discoveries across a network of diverse industries has never been greater. Innovation today is less about getting a competitive silo advantage and more about experimenting and researching possibilities in collaboration with others; finding ways to re-imagine aspects of our economy so we can continue to prosper with the lowest possible environmental impact. The shift underway will be explosive; unlike anything we’ve experienced since electricity and the internal combustion engine took center stage early in the 20th century.

There’s a lot of buzz around food technology these days. How do we create food systems that meet the needs of our changing world and what role does technology play? How can B.C. harness new technologies and innovations to produce more food, jobs and prosperity, while reducing waste?

It’s attracting a lot of research and investment.

I spoke to B.C.’s Minister of Agriculture and Saanich South MLA Lana Popham for an update about some ground-breaking agri-initiatives at work in our province. She’s been travelling B.C. to learn about agriculture issues for a decade now and what she is seeing is inspiring: small farms all over the province doing a lot of amazing things—and creating “a renaissance of experimentation around food culture and food processing.”

Here are a few examples of B.C. initiatives underway she told me about that are levelling the playing field for small farmers and food entrepreneurs:

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